Tony's Tip Sheet - National Edition

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Last updated: 10/31/2013 2:19 AM
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Football
Tony's Tip Sheet – National Edition
by Tony Gerdeman

It's not a great week of college football, but anything is better than watching November NBA. Conference races are shaking out, except for teams like Arkansas who is in a race as much as the people at races who hand out cups of water.

There are some classic rivalry games being played this weekend, and Florida vs Georgia is being played as well.

The season is driving toward a finish, but let's not think about it just yet.

Thursday October 31

Teams: Arizona State (5-2) at Washington State (4-4)
Time (TV): 10:30 pm (ESPN)
Interest: 1.5
Cheer For: Washington State

Washington State has been blown out in three of their last four games, with a win over terrible Cal being their lone undark spot. They did, however, score 38 points against Oregon two weeks ago, and if they can hit that mark again this week, that could be enough to only lose by a touchdown or two. As you might expect with a Mike Leach team, Wazzu is sixth in the nation in passing with 373 yards per game. Quarterback Connor Halliday threw for 557 yards in 89 attempts against the Ducks, and it sounds crazy to say, but he only threw four interceptions. Meanwhile, Arizona State enters this game following a 31-point win against mighty Washington two weekends ago. The momentum is with the Sun Devils quite emphatically. Washington State has yet to beat anybody of significance under Leach, which includes the 10-7 win over USC early this season, and I don't think the defense will be able to make it happen this week. Arizona State 45 – Washington State 37

Friday November 1

Teams: USC (5-3) at Oregon State (6-2)
Time (TV): 9:00 pm (ESPN2)
Interest: 2.5
Cheer For: USC

You're cheering for USC in this game because the muddier the Pac12 becomes, the better for the Buckeyes. Oregon State leads the nation in passing with 420.8 yards per game. USC leads the nation in wasted recruiting classes. (No, not like “drugs” wasted. I think. Maybe. Probably?) Oregon State 38 – USC 24

Saturday November 2

Teams: Mississippi State (4-3) at #14 South Carolina (6-2)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (SECTV)
Interest: 1.5
Cheer For: South Carolina

You're cheering for South Carolina because you don't want Missouri winning the SEC East because there's no way “budding legend” Maty Mauk can beat Alabama. As far as this game is concerned, I almost picked up South Carolina's defense this week, but then I remembered how terrible they can be for no reason at all. And when I look at Mississippi State's offense, “no reason at all” screams back at me. I have to imagine there are going to be thousands of coon dogs yelled at during these three-plus hours. South Carolina 31 – Mississippi State 20

Teams: North Carolina (2-5) at North Carolina State (3-4)
Time (TV): 12:30 pm (ESPN3)
Interest: 1
Cheer For: North Carolina

Are you seriously going to remember who to cheer for in this game? I don't even remember who I told you to cheer for and I typed it less than 15 seconds ago. I probably went with North Carolina simply because it was fewer key strokes. Sorry to break down the fourth wall, but not everything is always so sciency around here. North Carolina 30 – North Carolina State 21

Teams: Florida (4-3) vs Georgia (4-3) (Jacksonville, FL)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (CBS)
Interest: 3
Cheer For: Georgia

Georgia is favored by 2.5 points, so not only could a field goal win the game for Georgia, but it would also cover the spread. Yes, Georgia's offense is banged up, but Florida's offense will put the Bulldogs in plenty of advantageous positions. If you do watch this game, remember these teams as they once were, not as they currently are. Like when you go see The Who. No, Roger Daltrey can't hit the same notes as he used to and Mick Fleetwood can't wail on his guitar like he used to. Also, I don't know much about classic rock. Georgia 24 – Florida 14

Teams: Navy (4-3) at #25 Notre Dame (6-2)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (NBC)
Interest: 1.5
Cheer For: Notre Dame

This is the one time per year where everybody can let out their frustrations about the separation of church and state, because here they are sort of brought together for us in one giant battle of wills that are powerful, but probably still come in a distant third behind the wife. Notre Dame 42 – Navy 28

Teams: #8 Clemson (7-1) at Virginia (2-6)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (ESPN)
Interest: 1
Cheer For: Virginia

To this point the Big Ten has dodged quite a bullet by not foolishly adding Virginia. Let's hope they can continue to be so fortunate, because one Purdue in the conference is enough. Clemson 58 – Virginia 7

Teams: West Virginia (3-5) at TCU (3-5)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (ESPNU)
Interest: 1
Cheer For: West Virginia

You're cheering for West Virginia because you've always had a soft spot for Appalachia. That one time as a kid when your family drove to Florida and you went through the Smoky Mountains has had a very profound impact on you. You've since dedicated your life to making clay ash trays and thinking about going fishing, but very rarely ever finding the energy to get out of the tub. TCU 34 – West Virginia 31

Teams: Kansas (2-5) at Texas (5-2)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (LHN)
Interest: 1
Cheer For: Kansas

Kansas held Baylor to just 59 points last week, so their defense is clicking on all levels right now. With the way the Jayhawk defense is meshing right now, I would be shocked if Texas was even able to hit the 40s against them. This is a new day in Kansas football. This is not early 2013, this is late 2013. It's completely different. Charlie Weis has the ship righted, and that ship is headed straight for a three or four-win season, which would have been unheard of as little as a month ago. Get on the bandwagon while you still can, because these seats are going to fill up quickly. If you want to watch Kansas football take the next step to becoming a bad team and leaving the “absolutely horrificly face-marringly terrible” label behind them, then open your eyes people, because it's happening right in front of them. Texas 38 – Kansas 10

Teams: #11 Auburn (7-1) at Arkansas (3-5)
Time (TV): 6:00 pm (ESPN2)
Interest: 3.5
Cheer For: Auburn

Auburn opened up as a seven-point favorite, and it's now up to as much as 9.5 in some places. Bret Bielema is looking for his first SEC win, as he is now 0-4 and his Hogs are being outscored 189-50 in SEC play. But other than that – and the loss at Rutgers – things are going swimmingly for the Hogs. Wait, can hogs swim? This is probably Arkansas' best chance for a conference win until Mississippi State comes to town in four weeks. However, things are going too well for Auburn right now to go against them in this one. Auburn 37 – Arkansas 34

Teams: #18 Oklahoma State (6-1) at #15 Texas Tech (7-1)
Time (TV): 7:00 pm (FOX)
Interest: 3
Cheer For: Texas Tech

It doesn't really matter who wins this game where the Buckeyes are concerned, so don't get too worked up over it. Besides, Gus Johnson is calling the game, and he'll get plenty worked up for the all of you. Texas Tech suffered their first loss last week against the Sooners, so this week they'll try to avenge their loss by beating up on Oklahoma's little brother. You know, typical classless bully stuff. Oklahoma State has already lost to West Virginia on the road, so there's no way I'm going to give them any respect in this game. Texas Tech 49 – Oklahoma State 31

Teams: Tennessee (4-4) at #9 Missouri (7-1)
Time (TV): 7:00 pm (ESPN)
Interest: 1.5
Cheer For: Tennessee

You probably want Missouri to get another loss so that South Carolina would then have the tie-breaker over the Tigers. Tennessee is always a great team to have visit your state because when the fans travel back home, they leave no roadkill unclaimed. The shoulders and berms would sparkle in the sun, and no longer would the bloated remains of woodland creatures bake and sizzle in the hot, Southern sun. Missouri 27 – Tennessee 17

Teams: #7 Miami (FL) (7-0) at #3 Florida State (7-0)
Time (TV): 8:00 pm (ABC)
Interest: 2.5
Cheer For: Miami

Can you believe you have to cheer for the Hurricanes? Fortunately, as a one-day fan, you will not be obligated to undergo the Miami fan initiation where you have to stab three random strangers at a night club. The only question about this game is whether it will be as lopsided as last week's ABC prime time game between Penn State and Ohio State. Florida State 41 – Miami 17

Teams: Nevada (3-5) at #16 Fresno State (7-0)
Time (TV): 10:30 pm (ESPNU)
Interest: 2
Cheer For: Fresno State

You can cheer for Fresno State at this point because they'll never jump an undefeated Ohio State team, but it would be incredibly fun to hear the talking heads say that they should. Fresno State 49 – Nevada 27

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